This is an examination appeal.
Claim 1 before the Board read (in English translation):
1. Method for the treatment of a digital audio, image or video file, comprising a reduction phase were at least one couple of values of the file is reduced to a representative compressed value (QR), and a reconstitution phase where the file is reconstituted to its original form from said representative compressed value, characterised in thatI. the reduction phase comprises
- taking into account for said at least one couple of values of the file, one of these values being greater than the other (sic);
- determining of an integrating value VT consisting in the greater value of said couple, and an integrated value that is equal to the ratio of the smaller value VI and the integrating value VT;
- determining the representative compressed value QR based on which the couple of values of the original file can be recomposed, this representative compressed value QR being equal to the sum of a value CF that is equal to the rounded value of the integrated value VI /VT multiplied by ten, CF = (VI /VT ∙10), and the rounded value of the ratio of the integrating value VT and a coefficient CV that is variable according to the desired compression and error rates, multiplied by ten, QR = rnd [VT / CV ∙10]+ CF;
II. the reconstitution phase for the couple of values of the file comprises, consecutively, according to a process that is inversed with respect to the reduction phase:
- calculating the reconstituted integrating value VT* by means of the relationship VT* = rnd [QR/10∙ CV)];
- calculating the reconstituted smaller value VI* by means of the formula VI* = [VT*∙ CF/10];
- reconstituting the file comprising the couple of reconstituted values VT* and VI*.
One of the issues discussed by the Board was whether the corrections under R 139 requested by the applicant were to be allowed.
*** Translation of the French original ***
[2.1] There are obvious inconsistencies in the description and the claims as filed, between the formulas for calculating the representative value QR and the reconstituted values VI and VT* on the one hand and the numerical examples that should exemplify them on the other hand. In order to be allowable, the correction of these errors pursuant to R 139 has to be obvious for the skilled person.
The reconstituted value VI*
[2.2] The original formula for calculating the reconstituted value VI* refers to a variable “CV” that is not described elsewhere and is clearly erroneous. The replacement of “CV” by “CF” is obvious in view of the fact that the formula has to correspond to the inverse of the formula for calculating CF.
Thus the formula may be corrected pursuant to R 139 to read:
VI* = [VT*∙ CF/10].
The reconstituted value VT*
[2.3] The original formula for calculating the reconstituted value VT* refers to a variable “VR” that is not described elsewhere and is clearly erroneous. In analogy to VI*, the replacement of “VR” by “QR” is obvious.
Thus the formula may be corrected pursuant to R 139 to read:
VT* = rnd (QR/10∙ CV).
Representative value QR
[2.4.1] The numerical example contains two obvious mistakes. The displacement of the opening bracket “[“ in the numerical examples for the values CF and QR (page 6, lines 15 and 16) is obvious because it has to delimit the argument of the rounding function in these examples.
[2.4.2] The appellant requests the replacement of the original formula for calculating QR, i.e. QR = rnd [VT / CV ∙10] + CF by the corrected formula QR = rnd [VT / CV]∙10 + CF. The Board finds this correction to be inacceptable, for the following reasons:
The numerical value that is obtained for QR is 409 when the original formula is used, whereas the description (page 6, lines 15 and 16) is 407.
The skilled person facing the obvious inconsistencies in the original disclosure would have (at least) two possible choices, i.e. either to correct the formula, as requested by the appellant, or to correct the numerical example. The calculation according to the corrected formula would yield the described value QR = 407. Based on this result, the reconstituted values would be VT* = 4070 and VI* = 2849. The calculation according to the original value would yield a value QR = 409. Based on this result, the reconstituted values would be VT* = 4090 and VI* = 2863. The reconstituted values obtained with the two alternatives are very close of the initial values 4024 and 2869, such that the skilled person could not exclude either alternative.
The appellant points out that the reconstituted values according to the original formula were VT* = 4090 and VI* = 3681. The value for VI* was so far from the initial value 2869 that the skilled person would exclude this alternative and correct the formula rather than the numerical example. However, this conclusion presupposes that the skilled person would have understood that the value for CF to be used in the reconstitution formula was not the one obtained according to the description (page 6, line 7)
and to claim 1, but the one obtained by isolating the figure of units “9” of the QR value (“409”). This step is not explained in the original application, which only mentions the action of “dissociating the representative value (QR)” (see page 6, line 18). The need to isolate the figure of the units can only be deduced by analysing the corrected formula and, therefore, by setting aside the original formula, which is precisely the formula to be used for calculating QR in the alternative under consideration. The Board is of the opinion that the appellant’s reasoning is not convincing.
In conclusion, the skilled person, even if it envisaged only the two alternatives of correction mentioned above, could not exclude either with certainty. As a consequence, it is not apparent, directly and without ambiguity, that no other text than the one resulting from the correction could have been envisaged initially.
[2.4.3] Consequently, the correction under R 139, second sentence, of the formula for calculating QR has to be refused.
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